Traditional Madeleines

I have a little confession to make–

I didn’t want to make madeleines for Tuesdays With Dorie this week.

Up until yesterday afternoon, I was positive I didn’t really care for madeleines and couldn’t understand what the big hype was all about. Plus I didn’t own the correct pan.

Let me explain–I’ve never had a good one.

I decided to make Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread cookies instead. That was the first recipe made by the TWD bakers. They pretty much flopped. And not in a kinda-sorta way–BIG TIME.

Here’s the proof:

I darn near cried and then pried a few off the Silpat and consoled myself in chewy (not tender and crumbly) brown sugar pecan goodness. (Their fate has been decided and they are in the freezer awaiting execution–stay tuned. I think you’ll like it.)

After that big failure and many hours of going back and forth about buying the madeleine pan and making them, or making another recipe, I finally decided to give madeleines a chance.

I made my madeleine batter and headed to the mall to get a madeleine pan. I love the one I bought, even though it was the only choice available. The pans I wanted from Williams-Sonoma weren’t in stock in my local store. Thank goodness for Crate and Barrel! The pan has 18 wells and Dorie’s recipe made exactly 24 in my pan.

And thank goodness I decided to make madeleines.

I’m so ashamed I even thought about NOT making them. And I’m sad I didn’t take more pictures–that’s how little faith I had.

I am now enamored with them. We all are. My kids kept sneaking them from the kitchen. When my husband got home from work he devoured a few and went back for more.

I may just have to quit blogging and all other hobbies so I can take up making and eating madeleines as a second job–my first job being a full-time wife and mother…I mean, Domestic Goddess.

I opted for half Traditional and half Lemon-Rosemary. I’ve been CRAVING rosemary cookies for months. It may sound strange to some of you, but it’s not. Rosemary can definitely make the jump from savory to sweet. I thought I was so innovative until I noticed that Dorie included a variation for Orange-Rosemary Madeleines.

My husband even became a fan of rosemary in cookies after sampling my effort.

My notes: Make sure you leave the batter in the fridge for a long time. Don’t overfill the molds. My pan yielded exactly 24 mini-madeleines, which equaled about 1 tsp. of batter per well. Also, the first half of the batch (plain) came out a little flat. I noticed that the ones made with the rosemary had that darling little hump–I’m guessing it’s because I stirred the batter.

Traditional Madeleines

From Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Instructions:

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don’t worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven’s heat will take care of that. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. (Mine took about 6 minutes.) Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch(es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan(s) before baking. (I stuck the pan in the freezer for 1 minute between batches.)

Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar. (We ate them too quickly for that!)

Makes 12 large or 36 mini cookies

Serving: Serve the cookies when they are only slightly warm or when they reach room temperature, with tea or espresso. (Or as fast as you can get them into your mouth.)

Storing: Although the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, the madeleines should be eaten soon after they are made. You can keep them overnight in a sealed container, but they really are better on day 1. If you must store them, wrap them airtight and freeze them; they’ll keep for up to 2 months.

Lemon-Rosemary Variation

I added about 3/4 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary to half the batter. For a full batch, add 1 1/2 tsp.

Patricia at Technicolor Kitchen posted a recipe for Pistachio Orange Blossom Madeleines that I’m going to try next.

And after that it’s going to be cardamom, and maybe come lavender…and then maybe some with chocolate…oh, the possibilities!

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44 Comments

  1. How funny that you went so far as making another recipe before trying these. Glad you liked them. I like the sound of the rosemary ones and may have to try those next. Great job on yours!

  2. I adore Madeleines! These sound so lovely! c and I used to buy one every time we went to Nordstrom because they were 30 cents a piece and we could afford them. I try to remember that my daughter was born elegant and not the tom boy she’s become.. I hope she goes back a little. She used to be soooo fancy. :)

  3. Oh, sweetie, you have become a madeleine addict, like many of us! :)
    Your madeleines look perfect, beautiful! And I love the flavors, here.
    I hope you like the ones I posted, too!

  4. argh! yours have humps!!! and such lovely ones too!!!

    *jealousy washes over me*

    hehe. just kidding there. lovely work on the rosemary variation.

  5. Lemon and rosemary in a cookie? Who would have thunk but they sound and look incredible.
    Great job, and good luck on that second job!

  6. Those mini ones are absolutely adorable. I’m glad that you attempted the madeleines, even with your previous aversion (I was the same way, had never had *good* ones until now).

  7. That’s it!! I have got to get me a Madeleine pan!! Yours look so lovely! Well done you! The Pistachio ones sound fantastic! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the unsuccessful cookies? I’m so curious, it’s a wonder I’m not a cat!

  8. I am so with you on the different variations, I can’t wait to try some more! I hope my next ones turn out as cute as yours, boy are they ever gorgeous! :)

  9. sorry to hear about the shortbread cookies, but i’m glad you ended up loving the madeleines! i did too :) the lemon rosemary sounds delicious!

  10. Oh wow, your madeleines look divine and I don’t even like madeleines! Mmm.

    I did the shortbread too and the same thing happened to me. I ate them anyway though. haha

  11. Can I tell you how much I love your blog? Every post inspires me to try something new. I now have rosemary cookies on my list now.
    I also love your Spring Menu’s. I totally just copy what you make, because I know it will be good and I don’t have to think about it!

    Thanks!

  12. I love rosemary. I’ve never had it in anything sweet, but I’ve often joked (or maybe not so much) that I wanted to chocolate coat rosemary! ;)

    Your Madelines look fabulous! Glad you enjoyed them.

  13. They look great. My husband loves madeleines, but we have never made them ourselves. Dorie Greenspan certainly has a cult following, so her recipes must be good. I think I’ll give these a try in the next week or so! Thanks for the push in the right direction.

  14. Interesting theory about stirring. Mine puffed a little on top, but they definitely weren’t humped like yours. I didn’t stir my batter before filling the pan, so that may have been the reason.

    My kids and husband loved them, too, and were sad that there weren’t more!

  15. Simple and cute – how could you go wrong? And any excuse to buy a new pan is a good one!

    I’d turn those other cookies into some kind of crust. For a cheesecake, perhaps?

  16. These were your *first* madeleines?!? Ever?!?

    When you decide to teach a class, sign ME up!

    I’m dusting off my madeleine pan and trying again tomorrow. With rosemary. Brilliant!

  17. I’m sorry to hear about the shortbread, but I’m glad you decided to go for the madeleines and really enjoyed them…they turned out wonderfully!

  18. I think I can say with confidence that we’re all glad that you decided to make them after all. They look fabulous and I’m sure the addition of rosemary took them to a whole new level. My mouth is watering!

  19. Your madeleines look just lovely.
    Thanks for the tips! I didn’t make them this week for TWD but I definitely plan to in the future!

  20. This is one of my fav cookies, YUM! I have been wanting to buy the pan for months as well and still have yet to get one. I wanted to tell you a great tip for filling these pans to make this cookie is by filling a cake decorating bag and filling the pan this way, it makes a very pretty and perfect cookie. I love rosemary as well and bake it with many breads.

    I really love your website and check it out all the time. You should stop by my place.
    http://themiddleeasterncook.blogspot.com/

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